Mirror, Handheld

by Sam Rasnake

As far as the writing goes, I'm a fleck of sandstone beside a granite wall, one boot print on a forest floor, a goat with no mountain. Don't bring me your tired, your hungry—I've nothing written that could possibly keep them from drowning. What I have to offer would be heavy chains across their shoulders, cinder blocks tied to ankles, a slow and deep river of mud. My silence is their survival.

My best advice for you is to say nothing, to bide your time—and since I'm one of those who must fill nothing with something, as in the last word—wait for me to use my own against me, to cut myself to ribbons, curled and pinned to a mat for display, one cabinet drawer among a sea of cabinets—a wash of syllables over bones and flesh—the tiniest of pools under starless skies.

One hundred years from now—one minute from now would be no different. The world wobbles into its terrible beauty: the making by taking away.

I bring no gifts, no balance, no light.

If only—and no. I can't look.